§ 170.56 Adjournment in contemplation of dismissal in cases involving marihuana.

  1. Upon or after arraignment in  a  local  criminal  court  upon  an   information,  a  prosecutor's  information  or  a misdemeanor complaint,   where  the  sole  remaining  count  or  counts  charge  a  violation  or   violations  of  section  221.05, 221.10, 221.15, 221.35 or 221.40 of the   penal law  and  before  the  entry  of  a  plea  of  guilty  thereto  or   commencement of  a trial thereof, the court, upon motion of a defendant,   may  order that all proceedings be suspended and the action adjourned in   contemplation of dismissal, or upon a finding that adjournment would not   be necessary or appropriate and the setting forth in the record  of  the   reasons  for  such  findings,  may dismiss in furtherance of justice the   accusatory instrument; provided, however, that the court may  not  order   such adjournment in contemplation of dismissal or dismiss the accusatory   instrument  if:  (a)  the  defendant  has  previously  been granted such   adjournment in contemplation of dismissal,  or  (b)  the  defendant  has   previously  been  granted  a  dismissal  under  this section, or (c) the   defendant  has  previously  been  convicted  of  any  offense  involving   controlled   substances,  or  (d)  the  defendant  has  previously  been   convicted of a crime and the district attorney does not consent  or  (e)   the defendant has previously been adjudicated a youthful offender on the   basis  of  any  act  or  acts  involving  controlled  substances and the   district attorney does not consent.
  2. Upon ordering the action adjourned in contemplation of  dismissal,   the  court  must  set and specify such conditions for the adjournment as   may  be  appropriate,  and  such  conditions  may  include  placing  the   defendant under the supervision of any public or private agency.  At any   time prior to dismissal the court may modify the conditions or extend or   reduce  the  term  of  the  adjournment, except that the total period of   adjournment shall not exceed twelve  months.    Upon  violation  of  any   condition fixed by the court, the court may revoke its order and restore   the case to the calendar and the prosecution thereupon must proceed.  If   the  case  is not so restored to the calendar during the period fixed by   the court, the accusatory instrument  is,  at  the  expiration  of  such   period, deemed to have been dismissed in the furtherance of justice.
  3. Upon  or after dismissal of such charges against a defendant not   previously convicted of a crime, the court shall order that all official   records and papers, relating to the defendant's arrest and  prosecution,   whether  on  file with the court, a police agency, or the New York state   division  of  criminal  justice  services,  be  sealed  and,  except  as   otherwise provided in paragraph (d) of subdivision one of section 160.50   of  this  chapter, not made available to any person or public or private   agency; except, such records shall be made available under  order  of  a   court for the purpose of determining whether, in subsequent proceedings,   such  person qualifies under this section for a dismissal or adjournment   in contemplation of dismissal of the accusatory instrument.
  4. Upon the granting of an order pursuant to subdivision  three,  the   arrest and prosecution shall be deemed a nullity and the defendant shall   be  restored,  in contemplation of law, to the status he occupied before   his arrest and prosecution.

That is the entirety of the adjournment in contemplation statute under 170.56, and unlike the CPL 170.55 ACD,  the consent of the prosecutor is not required if the client has no prior criminal record nor any prior youthful offender adjudications involving controlled substances.  However, the client is not eligible for the marijuana ACD if  he/she has ever been convicted of an offense involving controlled substances or has previously received an ACD under 170.56.  Moreover, unlike an ACD under 170.55, the Court can order that the Mariuana ACD remain open for 12 months and can order conditions which must be fulfilled during that time period by the client.

If the case is not restored within that time period, the Court will dismiss the case in the furtherance of justice and and the arrest essentially becomes a nullity.  It is important to note that the dismissal will occur under CPL 160.50.

Protecting a New York client's record with an Adjournment in contemplation of Dismissal under CPL 170.56

For many clients charged with a mariuana offense, the best option is the Adjournment in contemplation of Dismissal under 170.56. The Statute is set forth below in its entirety:

Marijuana ACD

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